The message of the Gospel is that Jesus loves you, died for you and rose from the dead.
What Jesus went through on the cross is the central theme of the New Testament. Death by crucifixion was the most shameful punishment that was inflicted in New Testament times. To be crucified was to be identified with the worst criminals. The Jews regarded anyone who was crucified to be cursed by God.
Deuteronomy 21: 22-23 says, “If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole, you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse.”
Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”
Crucifixion was so brutal and intense that people thought it was ludicrous for Christians to believe that Jesus was God and was crucified. I Corinthians 1: 18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” I Corinthians 1: 23 says, “but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles”
Death by crucifixion was an agonizing experience. The Bible says in Isaiah 52:14, “Just as there were many who were appalled at him his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness.” Jesus was beaten so violently that He was almost unrecognizable! He experienced torn flesh, infected wounds, tight muscles, swollen tissues, the un-natural position of his body as it hung on a cross, the unbearable heat of the blistering sun and then the cold of the night, the bites of insects and attacks by birds as they invaded his shredded flesh. All of this was accompanied by mental and emotional anguish.
Jesus paid an extremely high price to redeem us. Jesus was willing to redeem us. Jesus shed His blood and died a cruel and horrible death on a cross so that you and I might have a relationship with God and receive complete forgiveness for our sin.
I have been completely wrecked by the message of the Cross. I live to tell others how they can experience forgiveness and a new life in Christ! I am grateful for the Cross.